Solar PV monitoring equipment pilot project completed

Posted by Karolis Mirinavičius

Ignitis Innovation in collaboration with Inion software – Lithuanian solar monitoring and control solutions provider has implemented a pilot project for exploring and testing the equipment allowing remote individual solar PV monitoring, control and technical maintenance.

By installing the system B2C PV owners have a more convenient access to power plant management and monitoring in real-time and local language as well as can reach historical data and compile data exports. Ignitis technical maintenance team also gains insights into the state of customers’ solar PV equipment (e.g., inverter data) and can perform remote monitoring and maintenance operations.

The equipment set-up for this monitoring improvement is quite simple, although in most cases may require support from a technician, in some cases more advanced PV owners would be able to install it on their own.

Inion Solarone30 data logger

The logger equipment is connected directly to a solar inverter and is compatible with most inverter models today available in the market. The logger connects to internet via wi-fi network and sends data from the inverter to the monitoring system that can be accessed via desktop or mobile applications.

The system dedicated to the technical maintenance team enables individual B2C solar PV portfolio management, remote monitoring and identification of errors, thus also more efficient technical maintenance planning. The plants can be remotely compared within the portfolio and predictive maintenance operations performed too.

The technician is also able to access all the necessary parameters of the individual PV system in real-time as well as historical data such as Active power, Reactive power, Isolation resistance, AC Current, system frequency, Voltage, Inverter temperature and other parameters in 1 minute granularity.

Inion portfolio management and monitoring platform (technician view)

PV system owner in the platform also is able to track the generation and the state of the plant as well as track the EUR and CO2 savings, access all parameters of the system, and gain insights into identified errors.

Inion portfolio management and monitoring platform (PV owner view)

The pilot project involved 11 new PV system owners and tracked the performance of PV inverters for a period of around 6 months. From the consumer perspective the feedback received during the pilot project indicates improved convenience and satisfaction due to more granular data when compared to inverter manufacturer monitoring systems.

From the technical maintenance perspective, the system also conveniently provides insights into the state of the PV inverter, generation data and error code interpretation for various inverter models. Ignitis, as a result of the pilot project, therefore, is exploring opportunities to integrate application of additional PV monitoring systems for PV technical maintenance services and improving customer satisfaction.

Such monitoring solutions can be a good addition to modern inverters and integrated inverter monitoring systems. However, with improving OEM monitoring interfaces for B2C PV owners it seems that the focus with such monitoring equipment will fall on larger solar arrays and the control functionalities instead of monitoring of small-scale systems. Such solution may also be important for distribution system operators (e.g., ESO) in case of a need for grid support and control. For example, in a case of substation overload some solar PV arrays or even individual systems could be automatically limited of disconnected from the grid to avoid technical issues or even protect consumer equipment in a case of voltage peaks.

Now Inion software is developing Energy Management System to control batteries connected to PV system. Smart battery control can help to reduce up to 30% additional electricity consumption. Already installed loggers will be able to deliver EMS functionality by updating the firmware remotely. Different battery control modes will be supported: Cost minimization, Self-consumption, Peak shaving, Self-sufficient, Curtailment and others.

Prepared by Ignitis Innovation Hub – Karolis Mirinavičius, [email protected]

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